Panellist in Christian school worker's appeal asked to recuse himself over 'bias' concerns
Lawyers for a Christian school worker have asked a member of the panel at her appeal hearing to recuse himself because of concerns about "bias".
A two-day hearing is underway in London in the appeal of Kristie Higgs against a previous judgment which ruled that the school she worked at previously was justified in sacking her for gross misconduct over two Facebook posts.
The Facebook posts, shared on her private account in 2019, expressed opposition to the introduction of Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and raised concerns about transgenderism being prompted in her son's Church of England primary school.
The previous judgment ruled that her posts could have been perceived as "transphobic" or "homophobic", even if they were not actually so.
Her lawyers have submitted an urgent application to the court after discovering that the panel includes Andrew Morris, former Assistant General Secretary of the National Education Union (NEU).
The Christian Legal Centre (CLC), which is representing Mrs Higgs, has raised concerns about Mr Morris' presence on the panel because of the NEU's support for RSE and the teaching of same-sex relationships and transgenderism at primary schools during his tenure at the organisation from 2017 to 2022.
The application submitted by Mrs Higgs' lawyers asks Mr Morris to recuse himself from the hearing.
Mrs Higgs said: "How can we expect access to justice when this is what we keep confronting at every stage?"
The hearing continues.